The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has awarded Analogic a $4 million contract to enable the Boston-based technology firm to further develop its ConneCT computed tomography (CT) airport checkpoint screening machines.

The contract includes the acquisition of three machines that will be used to collect data and provides Analogic with financial support to develop advanced algorithms for the machines over the next 12 months.

“TSA funding allows us to hire more software developers, experts on teaching the machine,” Analogic VP-global business development and government relations Mark Laustra told ATW.

He said two of the machines TSA is buying will be used to collect data at major airports and another will be used for testing and data collection in a laboratory environment.

“The more data the machines are exposed to, the better the algorithms and the better the machines will be at detecting threats,” Laustra explained.

Laustra said a ConneCT machine is about to go live in testing at a checkpoint at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Eight ConneCT machines purchased by Dallas/Fort Worth-based American Airlines—which will ultimately be gifted to TSA by the airline—will begin testing early next year at airport checkpoints, Laustra said.

The specific airports where the tests using the American-purchased machines will take place have not been determined, but at least one will be used at a major airport in the northeast US, Laustra said.

ConneCT testing is also slated for Tokyo Narita Airport.

Aaron Karp